If you've recently taken the plunge and asked your partner to shack up with you, one of the first things you'll need to get sorted is your homeowner's insurance. Although most of your existing policy's benefits will extend to your other half if you're married, things could be a little more complicated if you're simply living together. Home insurance typically covers the belongings of the named insured and her spouse or blood relatives, so the action you'll need to take will depend on your status.
Calculate the combined value of your belongings. Work out what it would cost to replace everything you own between you. As insurance firms replace old items with new, you'll need to work out what you'd pay for everything you own if you had to replace it today rather than what it cost when you bought it. Your building's insurance won't change.
Contact your insurer to find out what its policy is on adding people to your current coverage. Some firms will allow you to add a domestic partner as a named insured, while others won't. Although your spouse's belongings will be protected if you're married, you'll need to tell your insurer about the change in your circumstances; any home insurance claims your partner's made in the past and the value of all the stuff you need covered. If your partner's been claiming left, right and center on previous policies, you can expect your premium to go up.
Ask your partner to cancel his current homeowner's insurance as soon as possible if he has any. His coverage provider could have a minimum cancellation period. He could have to pay fees to get out of contract early, so the quicker he moves, the better.
Supply your insurance company with any evidence it needs to amend your policy and arrange for your coverage to start the day your partner's scheduled to move in with you.
- The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants: Who Is Covered under Your Homeowners Policy?
- Trusted Source: Auto and Home Insurance for Unmarried Couples
- Idaho Department of Insurance: Getting Married? What You Need to Consider When Combining Your Insurance Coverages
- Chapels.com: How to Select the Right Insurance After You're Married
- Quote Wizard: Roommates and Home or Renters Insurance
- If your current insurer won't let you add a domestic partner as a named insured party to your policy, your other half will have to take out renter's insurance to cover his belongings. Either that, or you can shop around for an insurer that will cover you both.
- You can't add tenants to your homeowner's insurance. Anybody you rent a room to will have to arrange his own renter's insurance and liability protection coverage.
Michael Roennevig has been a journalist since 2003. He has written on politics, the arts, travel and society for publications such as "The Big Issue" and "Which?" Roennevig holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the Surrey Institute and a postgraduate diploma from the National Council for the Training of Journalists at City College, Brighton.